State Aid Not in Abundance for 2013

State aid for Rochester will not be in abundance in 2013 according to Town Administrator Richard LaCamera.  LaCamera gave the figure from 2013, which was released by Governor Deval Patrick last week, during the Rochester Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting on Monday, January 28.

In 2012, Rochester received $2.1 million from the state.  This year, the town will only receive an additional $14,000, which is less than one percent of the town’s annual budget.  Despite the low figure, the town is happy to not be empty handed.

“Fortunately we are getting something,” said LaCamera.

When looking at the schools, the state promised $25 per student in aid.  But this year, Old Colony Regional will receive $55,000 less than it did last year.

“Ouch,” said Selectman Naida Parker.

A seeming exception to this rule is Old Rochester Regional High School, which will see a 25% increase in aid this year.  They will receive $494,000 in state funding.  LaCamera is going to research the formula by which the figures are computed and see if there was an error of some sort.

“We don’t know all the pieces yet,” he said.

In other news, the Board voted to approve May 20 for the 2013 Annual Town Meeting.  Any boards or committees in town must submit articles for the warrant by March 15.

LaCamera also suggested cutting back on the number of Annual Town Reports printed each year.  The project, which costs about $1,800 annually, costs the town an unnecessary amount of money as only about half of the reports are taken by residents.  He suggested putting the report online for residents to view and printing significantly less reports for hard copies.

Lastly, LaCamera updated the Board on the progress of the Town Hall rennovations. The roof repairs are officially complete.  Now, the hall is seeing rennovations to the front of the building.

The Rochester Board of Selectmen will meet again on Monday, February 4 at 6:30 pm in Rochester Town Hall.

By Katy Fitzpatrick


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